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Dr. K.
Dr. K., Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 4824
Experience:  Board certified with experience in primary care.
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Possible Toxoplasmosis

Customer Question

Can Toxoplasmosis be caught from cleaning a cat litter tray or cleaning up after my cat, if she had an accident. I always wash hands after. Also if Toxoplasmosis was present, can that cause or make worse mental health issues?

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. K. replied 3 years ago.
Hello, this is Dr K.. Answers are not medical advice and do not constitute a doctor/patient relationship. I look forward to helping you today.

Aquiring toxoplasmosis from a house cat is very rare. Its usually acquired from eating contaminated produce or meat. Feral cats can have it from eating infected rodents. Normal hand washing is enough to sanitize after cleaning the cat box. Mental issues from toxo can occur if there is severe disseminated infection. Your cat does not have toxo if its an indoor cat. Hope this helps. :)
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

My cat does go outside on a night time. I always clean my hands after cleaning the litter box or cleaning up after her.


Are mental health problems from this rare?

Expert:  Dr. K. replied 3 years ago.
Its extremely unlikely you would contract toxo from this. Hand washing is sufficient. For you to have mental problems, you would need to be very ill with encephalitis. The links with toxo to other mental problems are weak and not proven. Most people get toxo from raw meat and unwashed vegetables, not from their cats.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Sorry I do have problems with anxiety and panic and I have just been told on the internet that having this toxo can cause mental health problems such as psychotic episodes. This is not true or likely?



Expert:  Dr. K. replied 3 years ago.
You would have to be very ill with encephalitis. Toxo is not the cause of your problems.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have been recently diagnosed with partial epilepsy. That couldn't be due to toxo or encephalitis could it?

Expert:  Dr. K. replied 3 years ago.
Not unless you have lesions in the brain found on ct scan.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I don't think so, they found an abnormal focus of electrical activity in the anterior temporal area, that's how they diagnosed me. The other scan was normal.


Sorry for bothering you again, I think being diagnosed with epilepsy has made me fear not being in control of myself and my actions and this has lead to me having intrusive thoughts which is making me fear going to sleep. So I did panic when I saw that toxo could cause problems of that nature.

Expert:  Dr. K. replied 3 years ago.
Then no toxo lesions!!!

Its not a bother, its a pleasure to help you.

Think about getting some help with a cognitive behavioral specialist to help you learn to deal with the diagnosis of epilepsy.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes, I am going to see my Doctor about that.


So you do think it is unlikely that I have toxo because I always wash my hands after emptying cat litter and if I did have it, it wouldn't or would be unlikely to cause those problems?